TripAdvisor joins the Private Travel Club Club

Trip Advisor's new invite-only travel offering

TripAdvisor is joining Jetsetter, Kayak, and TabletHotels (good summary here) to offer a private sales site for hotel accommodations with the interestingly named “snique.” (I realize they’re going for “sneak,” as in “sneak away on a trip” – but I can’t help but read it as a contraction of “is unique?” or a “snick” as in snicker).

Can TripAdvisor’s brand support the claim of exclusivity? I think we all know at this point that the “invite only” exclusivity of private-sales sites is really about promoting an image rather than keeping out the unwashed masses. If I got invited, as someone who’s rarely if ever really used TripAdvisor (despite travelling frequently), everyone is getting invited.

Clicking through the email invite (above) results in this signup screen:

Snique's Sign Up Options

I like the idea of offering Facebook based signup, though when I tried it all I got was a cryptic error:

Not a very useful error message

Also, given that this is an exclusive, invite-only, member drive site – shouldn’t they already know my email address, name, zip, etc? They knew that at TripAdvisor, in order to be able to send me the invite.

Doesn’t feel very exclusive to fill out such a sign up form. Ultimately, though, the proof of value will be in the deals – let’s see if they justify the brand.